“It took a computer maker and a pager company to convince Americans a mobile phone is worth paying for, and now shoppers are splurging,” Ville Heiskanen reports for Bloomberg.
“U.S. customers shelled out 40 percent more for handsets last quarter than a year earlier, just as Apple Inc. put its Web- browsing iPhone on sale and Research In Motion Ltd. brought out BlackBerry e-mail phones with video features. Spending rose to a record and jumped the most since at least 2005,” Heiskanen reports.
“Americans, previously hard-pressed to pay $50 for a phone, are now more like their European and Asian counterparts and paying $300 to $400 for the top devices,” Heiskanen reports.
“‘The iPhone has made the U.S. consumer appreciate the value of the mobile phone,’ said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner Inc.,” Heiskanen reports.
“Sales of pricier handsets such as the iPhone almost tripled last quarter and made up 11 percent of phones sold in the U.S., Port Washington, New York-based NPD said. Shoppers spent $3.2 billion on phones, or $83 each, up from $2.2 billion a year earlier and the most since NPD’s records began in 2005,” Heiskanen reports.
“Rivals to the iPhone and BlackBerry still need to prove they’re up to the challenge. Apple benefits from a loyal following for its iPod music players and Macintosh personal computers, which sell at a premium compared with rival products,” Heiskanen reports. “Research In Motion won over bankers and lawyers with its reliable e-mail pager before branching into phones with video and music players for the consumer market in the past year.”
More in the full article here.